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had ever seen, while endeavouring to rally the fugitives, was severely wounded in the leg. It is stated by Washington, that he lost seven or eight pieces of artillery, but as to his loss of men, he made no precise return. By Howe it was computed at 300 killed, 600 wounded, and 400 taken. The Americans ascribed their disaster in some degree to the fault of the two Generals upon their right, namely, Sullivan and Stirling ; and of these, the latter at least was, indeed, wholly deficient in military skill.*
A few days only after the battle of the Brandy wine, the Americans sustained another though slighter check. An outpost of several hundred men at Paoli, commanded by General Wayne, who had neglected the usual precautions for security, was surprised and routed by the British under General Grey. Meantime the Members of Congress had hastened to pass anew some votes, conferring special and extraordinary powers upon Washington. They felt that Philadelphia was no longer secure for their deliberations. They did not, however, on this occasion, as in December last, adjourn to Baltimore, since the British army was now interposed between them and that town. But on dispersing they agreed to meet again at Lancaster, from whence, after one day's sitting, they further removed to York, still in the Pennsylvanian province, but beyond the Susquehanna river.
Even after the battle of the Brandywine, Washington had by no means relinquished his hope of defending Philadelphia. He had drawn his main force across the Schuylkill, and was observing the principal fords, with a view to dispute the passage of the British. But he had to deal with a country of which he says himself that it was "to a man disaffected." Moreover, his soldiers were scarcely adequate to rapid movements from their want of shoes. In the same letter he states that "at least one "thousand men are barefooted, and have performed the "marches in that condition." f Under such circumstances the British General found himself enabled to cross one of
* "Lord Stirling, plus brave que judicieux, —" says La Fayette (Memoires, &c., vol. i. p. 21.). Thus also the Marquis de Chastellux: "II est brave mais sans capacite .... il est age et un peu lourd." (Voyages, vol. i. p. 102.).
f To the President of Congress, September 23. 1777.
the lower fords without opposition, and to throw himself between Washington and Philadelphia. On the morning of the 26th, the van-guard, headed by Earl Cornwallis, took peaceable possession of that city; their band of music playing as they entered "God save the King."
Thus did Philadelphia fall, so long the seat of Congress, the capital in a manner of all the insurgent Colonies, the centre and main-spring of whatever was planned or perpetrated against the dominion of England. Ten months before, when Cornwallis overran the Jerseys, its reduction might have produced a great, perhaps a decisive effect. But now the blow had been so long expected and foreseen, that it fell with smaller force. It may be said with perfect truth, that the alarm and the despondency were not nearly so great when the British took Philadelphia in September, 1777, as when they had merely approached it in December, 1776. Their opponents were now inclined to view the brighter side, to consider the compensations which the loss of Philadelphia might afford them. They began to hope that, from the large amount of force which would be necessary to maintain and defend that great city, its reduction might, beyond any other cause, arrest the further progress of the British arms. Such was the feeling of Dr. Franklin, when the news was first announced to him at Paris. "No, no," said he, "it "is not General Howe that has taken Philadelphia, it is "Philadelphia that has taken General Howe!"
According to American accounts, the British, on entering Philadelphia, were received most cordially by the main body of the Quakers.* The joy, moreover, of the numerous loyalists — these loyalists so lately persecuted and down-trodden — need not be described, and could scarcely be exaggerated. Yet, notwithstanding this amount of public favour, the situation of General Howe was at first not a little critical. His enemies still holding their defences on the Delaware, intercepted the communication between him and the sea. They had constructed on an island some works and batteries, which, in honour of one of their Generals, they had named Fort Mifflin. Nearly opposite Fort Mifflin, on the eastern shore, and at
* Dr. Gordon's History, vol. ii. p. 518. VOL. VI. M
a place called Red Bank, Fort Mercer had been built; while at Billingsport, lower down the stream on the same side, another fort was building. In the deep navigable channel, in front both of Fort Mifflin and of Billingsport, had been sunk several ranges of chevaux-defrise ; and a considerable number of American gallies and armed vessels was stationed along the river. On the other hand, Lord Howe, with the British fleet, had sailed back from the Chesapeak to the Delaware, and was preparing to attack these forts. General Howe, in like manner, was directing a portion of his force against them, while the main body, securing Philadelphia on the land side, was encamped at Germantown.
In this divided state of the British army, a plan was formed by Washington to fall upon it unawares, and by a sudden blow recover Philadelphia. Marching all night in several columns, his troops appeared before Germantown at sunrise of the 4th of October. On they came, charging with their bayonets fixed. The British, taken by surprise, were thrown into great disorder, which the Americans hoped to improve to a complete victory. But as it chanced, the fog was so thick—and it grew thicker from the firing—as to cause confusion and uncertainty among themselves. Several of their regiments mistook one another for British; they were seized with panic and fled with precipitation, leaving their opponents masters of the field, and victors of the day. Besides, on such occasions, it was natural that raw levies should suffer other little accidents from which more regular troops are free. Thus, we are told of one American Colonel in this battle that, as he was riding one way and looking another, his horse ran away with him and carried him under a cyder press, where he was so much squeezed and hurt as to unfit him for further service.*
In this battle of Germantown, the King's troops had about five hundred dead or disabled. Of the other side, Washington states, "Our loss in the late action was, in "killed, wounded, and missing, about one thousand men; "but of the missing, many, I dare say, took advantage
* Letter from Colonel John Howard, in the Appendix to Washington's Writings, vol. v. p. 469.
"of the times, and deserted. ... In a word, it was a "bloody day. Would to Heaven I could add that it had "been a more fortunate one for us." * Yet defeat though it was, this battle brought no discredit, but the contrary, to the American troops, and the American commander. It showed that neither their spirit, nor their strength, had been broken by the reverses they had sustained. It displayed them not merely willing to stand firm behind entrenchments or stone walls, but prompt and eager in the open field, engaging of their own accord, not as at Trenton, and at Princeton, against scattered divisions, but against the main body of their adversaries. It proved them to want only that discipline and selfconfidence which longer warfare was certain to produce. When, a few months afterwards, the American Commissioners, at Paris, were discussing a Treaty of Alliance with the Count de Vergennes: "Your troops," said the latter, "have behaved well on several occasions; but "nothing has struck me so much as that General Wash"ington should have attacked, and given battle to Ge"neral Howe; to bring an army raised within a year to "this, promises every thing." f
After the battle of Germantown, Washington retired with his army to Whitemarsh, a strong position, fourteen miles from Philadelphia. The two Howes, Admiral and General, were thus left free to pursue their designs against the Delaware Forts. The first attack, on Redbank, by the Hessians, was unsuccessful, one or two hundred of the assailants having fallen, and their commander, Count Donop, being taken prisoner. J He was mortally wounded, and expired in the Fort a few days afterwards, carefully tended by another gallant European
* Letter to John Augustine Washington, October 18. 1777. f Life of Washington by Sparks p. 259.
j The precise loss of the Hessians in this attack, as reported by the American officer at Kedbank, to General Washington, was of eight officers and near seventy privates killed, and of four officers and above seventy wounded and prisoners. (Oct. 23. 1777.) But Washington, on repeating this intelligence two days afterwards, magnifies the total to 400. (Writings, vol. v. pp. 112. 115.) Another instance of the rule of doubling, as laid down explicitly in his letter to Putnam.
in the opposite ranks, Duplessis de Mauduit, a French officer of Engineers. The last words of Donop to De Mauduit might well sink deep into the minds of the petty Princes of Hesse, those sellers of their subjects' blood. "My career ends early," said the German; "I shall die "the victim to my own ambition, and to the avarice of "my Sovereign!
In the attack of the Delaware defences the British fleet did not at first thrive any better than the British army. Two large ships, the Augusta and the Merlin, ran aground; next morning, the former took fire, and blew up with some of her crew; and all attempts to float the latter failing, she was abandoned, and burned also. Several weeks, the last and best of the campaign, were employed in further preparations. At last the position of the Americans in Fort Mifflin being turned, and a heavy fire being opened upon it, they were compelled to retire; and on the approach of Earl Cornwallis, they likewise relinquished Redbank. The works and entrenchments were in great part dismantled; the chevaux-de-frise were with much difficulty weighed; and thus, all these toils accomplished, the Delaware was opened between Philadelphia and the sea.
It so chanced, that some years afterwards, after the fortune of the war had wholly changed, several French officers, among whom was La Fayette, came to visit the scene of these achievements. The narrative of their excursion, which one of the party gives us, is remarkable as showing incidentally, and as it were unconsciously, the ill-treatment of the loyalists by the ruling powers; the spoliation of their property, (sometimes requisite, but never requited,) having grown so common and habitual that the spoilers expected nevertheless to be warmly welcomed!" As we landed at Redbank," writes the Frenchman, "our friend, De Mauduit, who led the way, "proposed to us to stop at the house of a Quaker, only "half a musket-shot from the ruins of the Fort. 'That "'man,' said De Mauduit to us, 'is something of a Tory; "'I felt it my duty to demolish his barn, and to cut "'down his fruit-trees, but he will be glad, I am sure, "'to see M. de La Fayette, and will give us a good reli 'ception.' We took him at his word, but never were